Roya Rustamzada leads Oaklands Wolves to a record-breaking win on the road at Manchester Mystics.
Manchester Mystics 81-86 Oaklands Wolves (17-33, 43-58, 58-63)
Oaklands Wolves have made it a club record five straight wins in the WBBL Championship after beating Manchester Mystics 86-81 on the road, inspired by a fantastic performance from Roya Rustamzada.
As well as being their longest winning streak, it is also a first WBBL win over Mystics in their six meetings in the last three years and sees Wolves move up to sixth in the table, at least temporarily.
Leading scorers – Julie Page 25, Evelyn Ovner 20, Georgia Jones 14 (Mystics); Roya Rustamzada 30, Beth Sarson 15, Anneke Schluter 9 (Wolves)
Turning point – A dominant offensive performance in the first half saw Wolves build a 24 point lead, but after scoring just five third quarter points they were pegged back and trailed early in the fourth quarter. The teams traded baskets until Wolves hit a 7-2 run with four minutes to play as Lauren Milligan scored consecutively and Rustamzada was fouled shooting a three-pointer, making all of her free-throws. That gave them enough to see out a tetchy finish as they scored their last 11 points from the charity stripe in the final three minutes.
Key stat – In building their first half lead, Wolves turned the ball over just once in 20 minutes and they converted well on their possessions shooting 56% inside and 43% from three-point range. They hit 6-8 three-pointers in the first quarter, Sarson with three of those, which gave them the platform for the win. The teams shot a massive 68 free-throws between them in a game that saw 52 fouls, with three Mystics fouling out.
Game hero(es) – Rustamzada was the inspiration behind her team’s win as she scored 30 points on 71% shooting, including 3-4 three-pointers and 7-8 at the free-throw line. She completed a double-double with 10 rebounds, adding six assists and two steals.